Introduction to South Dakota Slot Machine Casino Gambling
South Dakota slot machine casino gambling consists of the frontier town of Deadwood’s twenty-two commercial casinos as well as nine tribal casinos. Further, there are over 9,000 video lottery terminal (VLT) style gaming machines at retailers and pari-mutuel sites spread throughout the state.
A minimum theoretical payout limit was been set for slot machines at casinos within Deadwood. Further, monthly return statistics are available for Deadwood’s casinos. Neither are available for tribal casinos in South Dakota.
I’ve dedicated this series to slot enthusiasts such as yourself by using my State-By-State Online Resource for U.S. Casino Slots Enthusiasts to improve your slots gambling performance by reviewing your state’s slots gaming industry.
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Relevant Legal Statutes on Gambling in South Dakota*
The minimum legal gambling age in South Dakota depends upon the gambling activity:
- Land-Based Casinos & VLTs: 21
- Poker Rooms: 21
- Bingo: 18
- Lottery: 18
- Pari-Mutuel Wagering: 18
In 1989, South Dakota was the first state to offer video lottery terminals (VLTs). Regulation of VLTs at bars and taverns is the responsibility of the South Dakota Lottery. Each retailer can have up to 30 machines per gambling license with a limit of 3 permits per operator. There are currently 1,325 such operators.
In the frontier town of Deadwood, children may accompany their parents in most casinos until 8 p.m. South Dakota is the only U.S. gaming jurisdiction which allows minors to be present while their parents gamble.
South Dakota’s American Indian tribes have negotiated and approved tribal-state compacts. These gaming compacts include a sliding scale for how many slot machines each tribal casino may have, specifically:
- 500 gaming machines at the effective date of the compact
- 600 gaming machines after two years
- 750 gaming machines after four years
South Dakota also has two pari-mutuel facilities with horseracing during the spring season, but do not offer slot machines at them. An additional racetrack facility offers dog racing and simulcast betting.
*The purpose of this section is to inform the public of state gambling laws and how the laws might apply to various forms of gaming. It is not legal advice.
Slot Machine Private Ownership in South Dakota
It is legal to own a slot machine privately in the state of South Dakota if manufactured before 1941.
Gaming Control Board in South Dakota
The South Dakota Commission on Gaming regulates casino gambling at casinos located within the city of Deadwood.
South Dakota’s nine federally-recognized tribes have successfully negotiated tribal-state gaming compacts. There are nine tribal commissions, established upon approval of each tribe’s gaming compact. Further, the South Dakota Department of Tribal Relations provides oversight of the tribal casinos.
South Dakota’s final gaming control board is the South Dakota Lottery Commission.
Casinos in South Dakota
There are twenty-two commercial casinos in Deadwood, eleven American Indian tribal casinos, two pari-mutuel racetracks without slot machines, and 1,325 locations with 9,060 video lottery terminals in South Dakota.
The largest casino in South Dakota is Royal River Casino Hotel in Flandreau with 386 gaming machines.
The second-largest casino is Silverado-Franklin Historic Hotel & Gaming Complex in Deadwood with 361 gaming machines.
Commercial Casinos in South Dakota
The twenty-two commercial casinos in the city of Deadwood are:
- Buffalo-Bodega Gaming Complex
- Cadillac Jack’s Gaming Resort
- Comfort Inn & Suites
- Deadwood Dick’s
- Deadwood Gulch Gaming Resort
- Deadwood Mountain Grand
- Deadwood Station Bunkhouse and Gambling Hall
- First Gold Gaming Resort
- Gold Country Inn Gambling Hall & Cafe
- Gold Dust Casino & Hotel
- Hickok’s Hotel & Suites
- Historic Bullock Hotel
- Iron Horse Inn
- Martin Mason Hotel
- Mineral Palace Hotel & Gaming
- Mustang Sally’s
- Saloon #10
- Silverado-Franklin Historic Hotel & Gaming Complex
- Super 8 by Wyndham Deadwood
- The Historic Fairmont Hotel Oyster Bay Bar & Casino
- The Lodge at Deadwood Gaming Resort
- Tin Lizzie Gaming Resort
Tribal Casinos in South Dakota
The nine tribal casinos in South Dakota are:
- Dakota Connection Casino in Sisseton, 155 miles north of Sioux Falls a few miles from the North Dakota border.
- Dakota Sioux Casino & Hotel in Watertown, 113 miles north of Sioux Falls.
- Fort Randall Casino Hotel in Pickstown, 171 miles southeast of Pierre.
- Golden Buffalo Casino in Lower Brule, 61 miles southeast of Pierre.
- Grand River Casino and Resort in Mobridge, 108 miles north of Pierre.
- Lode Star Casino in Fort Thompson, 60 miles southeast of Pierre.
- Prairie Wind Casino & Hotel in Pine Ridge, 199 miles southwest of Pierre.
- Rosebud Casino near Valentine, NE, 121 miles south of Pierre on the border to Nebraska.
- Royal River Casino Hotel in Flandreau, 45 miles north of Sioux Falls.
Other Gambling Establishments
As an alternative to enjoying South Dakota slot machine casino gambling, consider exploring casino options in a nearby state. Bordering South Dakota is:
- North: North Dakota Slots
- East: Iowa Slots and Minnesota Slots
- South: Nebraska Slots
- West: Montana Slots and Wyoming Slots
Each of the links above will take you to my blog for that neighboring U.S. state to South Dakota.
Our South Dakota Slots Facebook Group
Are you interested in sharing and learning with other slots enthusiasts in South Dakota? If so, join our new South Dakota slots community on Facebook. All you’ll need is a Facebook profile to join this closed Facebook Group freely.
There, you’ll be able to privately share your slots experiences as well as chat with players about slots gambling in South Dakota. Join us!
Payout Returns in South Dakota
A minimum theoretical payout limit of 80% over the expected lifetime of a machine has been set for slot machines at casinos in the tourist town of Deadwood.
The tribal casinos do not have a theoretical payout limit. Furthermore, the South Dakota Lottery provides the odds of winning for VLT electronic gaming machines limited to poker, keno, blackjack, and bingo.
Return statistics are available annually for Deadwood’s casinos from the Gaming Division of the South Dakota Department of Revenue. Release of these annual reports are eleven months after the fiscal year ending in June has passed.
Therefore, the most recent annual report is from June 2019. Included within this report are month-by-month return statistics by slot machine denomination from mid-2018 thru mid-2019.
The annual player win percent (100% minus casino hold percent) at all Deadwood casinos by slot machine denomination was:
- Penny slots: 90.72%
- Nickel slots: 91.01%
- Dime slots: 93.36%
- Quarter slots: 91.17%
- 50-cent slots: 91.98%
- Dollar slots: 92.51%
- 5-dollar slots: 93.13%
- 25-dollar slots: 92.84%
The highest annual player win% went to dime denomination slot machines followed closely by $5 machines. The lowest return went to penny slots.
Summary of South Dakota Slot Machine Casino Gambling
South Dakota slot machine casino gambling consists of twenty-two casinos in Deadwood, nine tribal casinos, and VLT-style non-slots gaming machines spread throughout the state.
Deadwood casinos have a minimum theoretical payout limit of 80% and annual return statistics available. VLT gaming machines have their odds of winning online. Tribal casinos do not have a payout limit nor return statistics.
Annual Progress in South Dakota Slot Machine Casino Gambling
In the last year, the Deadwood Gulch Saloon permanently closed.
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